From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William McCuddy '31

Date of birth: June 25, 1909

Date of death: May 1, 1936

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1931 Lucky Bag:

Biography & Loss

From researcher Kathy Franz and Find A Grave:

While observing submarine torpedo practice, William died when his utility plane crashed into the sea four miles off Barber’s Point, near Pearl Harbor. His Chief Aviation Pilot Jack C. Wilson also died. A second plane saw the splash, and by the time it returned from summoning help, William’s plane had sunk.

William was born and raised in Russellville, Kentucky. After high school, he attended Bethel College, the Naval Preparatory School in Maryland, and the Marion Military Academy. While in the Navy, he also received special training at the submarine base at New London, Connecticut, where he met his future wife.

The year before his death, William married Doris Waller on May 27. They arrived in Honolulu on June 27. Their one-month old son was named Robert Ferguson for his grandfather. William’s father went by “Fergus” and was vice president of the Southern Deposit Bank in Russellville. William’s mother Mary had died, and he had a sister Betty.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1931

Ensign, USS Dent

October 1931

Ensign, USS Dent

January 1932

Ensign, USS Dent

April 1932

Ensign, USS Dent

October 1932

Ensign, USS Dent

January 1933

Ensign, USS Dent

April 1933

Ensign, USS Crowinshield

July 1933

Ensign, USS Arkansas

Others at this command:

October 1933

Ensign, USS Arkansas

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg William Oliver '29 (Aviation Unit)

January 1934

Ensign, USS Arkansas

July 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-25

Memorial Hall Error

William is not listed with his classmates. This omission was discovered by researcher Kathy Franz.

Class of 1931

Charles is one of 52 members of the Class of 1931 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.